Use of recruitment agencies

David Williams made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to SE Trains Limited Automatic anti-spam measures are in place for this older request. Please let us know if a further response is expected or if you are having trouble responding.

Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

Dear SE Trains Limited,

Please find a Freedom of Information request as follows:

1) From April 2021, has SE Trains used external
recruitment agencies to hire for permanent or contract roles? Fees paid
are often known as 'finders fees', 'temp to perm fees' or a retainer fee
paid to recruitment agencies.

2) Please provide the total recruitment fees paid, and the number of people
appointed, for each of the following years:

1 April 2021 - 31 March 2022

1 April 2022 - 31 March 2023

3) Do SE Trains Limited have any Preferred Supplier
List(s) for recruitment agencies? If yes, please detail the suppliers on the list, and when this is due to be retendered?

Yours faithfully,

David Williams

Information Rights, SE Trains Limited

Dear David,

Thank you for your request dated 26/4/2023.

We are handling this under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act).

Under the Act, you are entitled to a response within 20 working days of receipt.
If we cannot meet this deadline, we will let you know the reason and also tell you when you can expect a response.

Regards,
Sunil Lakhani ,
On behalf of the Data Protection Officer,
Southeastern
2nd Floor,
4 More London Riverside,
London, SE1 2AU.
[email address]

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Information Rights, SE Trains Limited

Dear David,
 
Thank you for your email of 26 April 2023. You requested the following
information:

 1. Whether SE has used external recruitment agencies to hire for
permanent or contract roles.
SE Trains has used a variety of specialist recruiters and agencies to
provide both permanent and contract roles.
 2. Total recruitment fees paid, and the number of people appointed for
the period - 1 April 2021 - 31 March 2022 and 1 April 2022 - 31 March
2023. 
We hold information from 17/10/2021, the date at which SET became an
entity. It is not reasonably possible to isolate the fees paid to
agencies and therefore the figures provided represent the total amount
spent in this category, inclusive of salary costs which are passed
through to the contractors or employees. With the exception of the
below permanent appointments, fees paid are for agency labour.

17/10/2021 to 31/03/2022         £1,470,231

0 permanent appointments.
01/04/2022 to 31/03/2023        £10,222,596 (noting that this figure is
significantly higher than the standard run rate due to the volume of
agency staff required to provide customer service roles during industrial
action.
                                7 permanent appointments.

 1. List(s) for recruitment agencies, details of the suppliers, and when
this is due to be retendered.
Yes, SE Trains operate a PSL. This is currently being retendered in
compliance with the Utilities Contract Regulations 2016, with new
contracts expected to be awarded in the coming 2-3 months. The tender
was advertised on the UK government’s Find a Tender service. The
contract notice can be found here:
[1]https://www.find-tender.service.gov.uk/N...

 
 
Appeal Rights
If you are unhappy with the way your request has been handled and wish to
make a complaint or request a review of our decision, please write to the
Southeastern Company Solicitor, 2nd Floor, 4 More London Riverside, SE1
2AU, or by email at [email address]
 
Your request must be submitted within 40 working days of receipt of this
letter.
 
If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner (ICO) can be contacted at
Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF or you can contact the ICO through the 'Make a
Complaint' section of their website on this link:
[2]https://ico.org.uk/make-acomplaint/     
 
Regards
 
Mark Willson
Data Protection Officer,
Southeastern
2nd Floor,
 
4 More London Riverside,
London, SE1 2AU.
 

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Dear SE Trains Limited,

Thank you for your response to our Freedom of Information request.

We would be grateful to clarify the response to part 2) of the request "Total recruitment fees paid, and the number of people appointed for the period - 1 April 2021 - 31 March 2022 and 1 April 2022 - 31 March 2023.

On SE Trains response of " We hold information from 17/10/2021, the date at which SET became an entity. It is not reasonably possible to isolate the fees paid."

For information of 17/10/2021 onwards, please can you formally confirm that obtaining the information requested would exceed the cost limit of £450 (18 staff hours) ?

We note other public sector organisations routinely provide this imformation, using financial management and procurement systems in place to ensure appropriate control of the expenditure of public funds.

Yours faithfully,

David Williams

Information Rights, SE Trains Limited

Dear David,

I can confirm that the effort required to provide the information requested on total fees paid, would exceed the appropriate limit. In order to accurately provide the fees paid to recruitment firms we would need to review every single Purchase Order raised and reconcile to individual contracts to check the fees which are charged by each specific agency. These can vary significantly depending on the specialism.

The information requested is further exempt under s43 of the FOIA, Commercial Prejudice. We are currently retendering our agency and recruitment frameworks. Disclosure of the information requested could provide bidders with information which would cause tenders to be priced at a higher level than would otherwise be the case, to the detriment of the taxpayer.

Regards

Mark Willson
FOIA Officer
southeasternrailway.co.uk

southeastern
2nd Floor,
4 More London Riverside,
London, SE1 2AU.

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